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J i m M o r r i s o n


J o h n    D e n s m o  r e


R a y  M a n z a r e k


R o b b y   K r i e g e r




1943 - 1971

You could say it's an accident that I was ideally suited for the work I am doing. It's the feeling of a bowstring being pulled back for 22 years and suddenly being let go. I am primarily an American, second, a Californian, third, a Los Angeles resident. I've always been attracted to ideas that were about revolt against authority. I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing of established order. I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos—especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom—external revolt is a way to bring about internal freedom. Rather than starting inside, I start outside—reach the mental through the physical. I am a Sagittarian—if astrology has anything to do with it—the Centaur—the Archer—the Hunt—But the main thing is that we are The Doors.

We are from the West. The whole thing is like an invitation to the West.

The sunset—This is the end
The night—The sea


The world we suggest is of a new wild west. A sensuous evil world. Strange and haunting, the path of the sun, you know? Toward the end. At least for our first album. We're all centered around the end of the zodiac. The Pacific - violence and peace - the way between young and the old.



John Paul Densmore, born December 1, 1944 in Santa Monica, California, is a drummer and writer. He attended Santa Monica City College and Cal State Northridge.

"I've been playing for six years. I took piano lessons when I was ten. They tried to get me to play Bach. They tried for two years. When I was in junior high I got my first set of drums. I played symphonic music in high school (timpani, snare drum), then I played jazz for three years. I used to play sessions in Compton and Topanga Canyon. Since last year it's been rock 'n' roll and these creeps."

John Densmore made his departure from the world of rock and roll in the eighties, to the world of dance as he performed with Bess Snyder and Co., touring the United States for two years. In 1984, at La Mama Theatre in New York, he had his stage acting debut in Skins a one act play he wrote. In 1985, he went on to win the LA Weekly Theater Award for music with Methusalem, directed by Tim Robbins. The play, Rounds, which he co-produced, won the NAACP award for theater in 1987. In 1988, he played a feature role in Band Dreams and Bebop at the Gene Dynarski Theater.

He developed and performed a one-man piece from the short story, "The King of Jazz", at the Wallenboyd Theater in 1989. With Adam Ant, he co-produced Be Bop A Lula at Theatre Theatre in 1992. He has acted in numerous TV shows and his film credits include: Get Crazy with Malcolm McDowell, Dudes directed by Penelope Spheeris, and most recently The Doors directed by Oliver Stone. John wrote his best-selling autobiography, Riders On The Storm; and as drummer and founding member of The Doors, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January of last year.

He is presently working on his first novel, producing a documentary film, an after-care program for ex-criminal offenders titled Project Return directed by Leslie Neil. When time permits he lectures in colleges all over the states, most recently in Boston and New Hampshire. "If you want to see a great film, check out Passion Fish, Tender Mercies, or Roan Inish. I loved them all, you won't be disappointed," John.



Raymond Daniel Manzarek, born February 12, 1939, in Chicago, is The Doors keyboard player. He attended UCLA Film School.

"I grew up in Chicago and left when I was 21 for Los Angeles. My parents gave me piano lessons when I was around nine or ten. I hated it for the first four years—until I learned how to do it—then it became fun, which is about the same time I first heard Negro music. I was about 12 or 13, playing baseball in a playground; someone had a radio tuned into a Negro station. From then on I was hooked. I used to listen to Al Benson and Big Bill Hill—they were disk jockeys in Chicago. From then on all the music I listened to was on the radio. My piano playing changed; I became influenced by jazz. I learned how to play that stride piano with my left hand, and knew that was it: stuff with a beat—jazz, blues, rock.

"At school I was primarily interested in film. It seemed to combine my interests in drama, visual art, music, and the profit motive. Before I left Chicago I was in theater. These days, I think we want our theater, our entertainment to be larger than life. I think the total environmental thing will come in. Probably Cinerama will develop further.

"I think The Doors is a representative American group. America is a melting pot and so are we. Our influences spring from a myriad of sources which we have amalgamated, blending divergent styles into our own thing. We're like the country itself. America must seem to be a ridiculous hodgepodge to an outsider. It's like The Doors. We come from different areas, different musical areas. We're put together with a lot of sweat, a lot of fighting. All of the things people say about America can be said about The Doors.

"All of us have the freedom to explore and improvise within a framework. Jim is an improviser with words."



Robert Alan Krieger, born January 8, 1946, in Los Angeles, is a musical performer and The Doors guitarist. He attended UCLA.

"The first music I heard that I liked was Peter and the Wolf. I accidentally sat and broke the record (I was about seven). Then I listened to rock 'n' roll—I listened to the radio a lot—Fats Domino, Elvis, The Platters.

"I started surfing at fourteen. There was lots of classical music in my house. My father liked march music. There was a piano at home. I studied trumpet at ten, but nothing came of it. Then I started playing blues on the piano—no lessons though. When I was seventeen, I started playing guitar. I used my friend's guitar. I didn't get my own until I was eighteen. It was a Mexican flamenco guitar. I took flamenco lessons for a few months. I switched around from folk to flamenco to blues to rock 'n' roll.

"Records got me into the blues. Some of the newer rock 'n' roll, such as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. If it hadn't been for Butterfield going electric, I probably wouldn't have gone rock 'n' roll. I didn't plan on rock 'n' roll. I wanted to learn jazz; I got to know some people doing rock 'n' roll with jazz, and I thought I could make money playing music.
In rock 'n' roll you can realize anything that you can in jazz or anything. There's no limitation other than the beat. You have more freedom than you do in anything except jazz—which is dying—as far as making any money is concerned.

"In The Doors we have both musicians and poets, and both know of each other's art, so we can effect a synthesis. In the case of Tim Buckley or Dylan you have one man's ideas. Most groups today aren't groups. In a true group all the members create the arrangements among themselves."


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All excerpts taken from original Elektra Records biography, 1967 Excerpted from The Doors The Illustrated History by Danny Sugerman